This is one of those films which you either love or hate. It is based on a true story.
If you'd told me before I had heard of "Mrs Henderson Presents", that in one of the more moving and amusing films I would see this year, the actress playing a septuagenarian widow would completely steal the show from a bevy of attractive younger women who spend much of the film without their clothes, I would have found it hard to believe but the answer can be explained in two words - Judi Dench.
Dame Judi plays Mrs Lilian Henderson: the film starts with her husband's funeral, and shortly thereafter in one of the many sad parts of the film she flies to France to visit the grave of her only son, who had been killed in the first world war aged 21. "Bored with widowhood" and looking for something to do, she buys the Windmill theatre and hires Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) to run it. Come the second world war, she decides to entertain the troops by putting on displays of naked girls.
The film is at times very sad, and at others very funny. All the acting is superb, especially from Dench, Hoskins, Christopher Guest who plays the Lord Chamberlain, Thelma Barlow as one of Mrs Henderson's friends, plus Will Young and Kelly Reilly as cast members. Some people wondered if a more extreme parody of the Lord Chamberlain by soneone like John Cleese would have been funnier: personally I thought Christopher Guest's understated embarrasment and outrage worked better than a slapstick, over-the-top peformance would have.
This film could easily have been rude, cheesy, or unsophisticated, but it was none of those things. Clearly not everyone liked it, but a lot of other people did, and I was one of them. I think it deserved the critical acclaim.